Earlier this week, the Associated Press released new style guidance that individuals in same-sex marriages should generally not be referred to as “husbands” or “wives,” but instead of “partners” or “couples.” No explanation has been offered as to why the AP decided that same-sex marriages just didn’t deserve the same language as opposite-sex marriages, but one reporter isn’t tolerating it. New York-based reporter David Crary has said he will happily violate the new rule:
The AP style guidance will have no effect on how I write about legally married same-sex couples. I will continue to depict them on equal terms, linguistically and otherwise, with heterosexual married couples, with no hesitation about using husband and wife in the cases where that’s the appropriate term.
It’s unclear if his editors will follow suit, unfortunately. The guidance presents a tough choice: Should reporters follow the rule or write what is factually correct? A man who is married is his spouse’s husband, and a woman who is married is her spouse’s wife, and nothing AP can say will change that.